Trophy fishing for species threatened with extinction: A way forward building on a history of conservation
Trophy fishing occurs when anglers target the largest members of a species with the goal of obtaining an award with perceived prestige. The largest members of many species are also the most fecund, raising alarms about the disproportionate impact of removing the largest individuals of species of conservation concern. Presented here is the first systematic analysis of the conservation status of fishes targeted for world records by the International Game Fishing Association. Eighty-five species for which IGFA records have been issued are listed as Threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. If the IGFA stopped issuing records that implicitly require killing the fish for IUCN Red List Threatened species, it would immediately reduce fishing pressure on the largest individuals of species of conservation concern while still allowing anglers to target more than 93% of species that records have been issued for.